Click Here To Learn More About Jinny Anderson
When I found the two missing items I thought had been lost in my recent move, I heaved a sigh of relief.  All problems were solved; all systems were go.  That’s what I thought until the problem of reinstalling my cable TV reared its ugly head.
In my other apartment I had digital cable.  Mind you, I have no idea how the digital system works or why it is so expensive.  The only reason I have it is because it’s the only way I can see BBC America or Turner Classic Movies.
I didn’t anticipate any trouble in reconnecting my cable.  The day the fellow came to plug it in, he told me he couldn’t, stating there was a weak wire from my living room to the attic.  I’ve heard reports on the attic from every cable person who has ever gone up there.  Apparently, it is a place of horror with miles of old, disconnected antenna wires all over the place. 
Two days later, two more cable people showed up to verify or disclaim the first fellow’s findings.  They agreed the problem was the wire, but it would require an electrician to do the needed replacement.  I later learned that in the state of Maine, cable personnel are not allowed to do any electrical work.  No one seemed to know why, since it was OK in other states.  There was a vague reference to “insurance reasons”. 
This morning an electrician dropped in.  After doing some research he declared that he would be able to do something that will circumvent the attic nightmare.  I was told the cable company would drop off some cable he would need.  So far, no one has shown up with so much as a piece of string.
The next move is up to the cable company and the owner of the apartment complex who are currently embroiled in some sort of battle as to who will pay for the installation and the electrician.  One guess as to the name of the patsy.
In the meantime, someone jiggled something so I can get basic cable, which is supposed to be 78 channels, none of them digital.  All I can get with any clarity is 47 channels, but I was still billed for 78.
I know you’re wondering why I don’t throw in the towel, (wrapped around a rack), and forget about TV.  After all, I survived a good many years without it and I’ll still have books and crossword puzzles.
I kicked this idea around in my head and came up with the lame excuse that I enjoy TV.  At times, when you live alone, it can be company.  Of course, I do very nicely without three quarters of available programming, but I truly like and enjoy the quarter I watch.  I guess I’m hooked.
Two days have passed since I wrote the above.  In the meantime, I have been told things have been worked out and the electrician would be here at 8AM this morning.  It is now 10AM and no visit from the electrician.  There is a truck parked outside my window that looks like it might belong to an electrician.  Maybe he has been swallowed up by the attic.  I’m beginning to feel as if I’m living a Stephen King story about the revenge of miles of abandoned TV cables crying out to be given a new life of TV programming.
All this nonsense has involved hours of telephoning, most of it assigned to me.  I know why – because no one wants to get involved in calling the cable company.
For starters, there’s no way you can talk to anyone in the local office.  I’ve been told there is no local office per se – just two women in a small space who will accept monthly payments.  If, for any reason, you need to talk to an employee for customer service, you dial an 888 number and are hooked into the company’s offices in Florida.  At least the call is free, which is a boon unless you get a Florida native with a Southern accent as thick as corn pone batter.
You can’t even get to a living person, with or without dialect without using one of those blasted “menus”.  This can be fraught with frustrations, particularly if your specific problem is not an entrée.
Nine times out of ten, when you finally get a service person you’re put on hold while you wait for the next available trouble shooter.  Every two seconds you’re told your call is important, so please hold on.  In between these bits of flummery you are assailed by the loudest, and worst music available.
I’ve come to know some of the Floridians pretty well since you can’t get the same person twice and I’ve had to recount my tale of customer woe each time I’ve been told to call.  I would imagine they rotate workers in order to avoid nervous breakdowns after dealing with misdirected frustration and rage vented by callers.  I’ve managed to stay cool, calm, and polite.  It’s not their fault they have to work where they do, and it’s certainly not their fault I’m a BBC America junkie.
Would you like to read past issues of That's Life?
Click Here